US economy grew at solid 3.1% rate in first quarter

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FILE – In this Jan. 18, 2017 file photo, construction personnel work on a building project just south of Chicago’s Loop. The U.S. economy surged in the April-June quarter, growing at an annual rate of 4.1 percent. That’s the fastest pace since 2014, driven by consumers who began spending their tax cuts and exporters who […]

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a healthy 3.1% rate in the first three months of this year, but signs are mounting that growth has slowed sharply in the current quarter amid slower global growth and a confidence-shaking trade battle between the United States and China.

The Commerce Department reports that the gain in the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, was unchanged from a month ago. However, the components of growth shifted slightly with stronger business investment and consumer spending slowing more than previously estimated.

Economists believe growth has slowed sharply in the current April-June quarter to around 2%. They expect similar meager gains for the rest of the year, a forecast that runs counter to the Trump administration’s expectations for strong growth above 3%.

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